Speaker: Don Guthrie
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Are you ready for Christmas? So much to do.
Are you ready for Christ to come into your life with fresh power? Renewal? Revival?
Luke 1--"a people prepared for the Lord." After 1000 years, they still weren't ready.
"In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. (6) They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. (7) But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years. (11) And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. (12) Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. (13) But the angel said to him, 'Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear a son, and you will give him the name John. (15) For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's womb. (16) And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. (17) It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.' (18) Zacharias said to the angel, 'How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.' (19) The angel answered, 'I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you good news. (20) And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time' " (Luke 1:5-20).
A problem with religion. Sometimes. Begins to be a SUBSTITUTE. Heart hunger for GOD goes away.
"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify of Me" (John 5:39).
Good people but BARREN. Symbol of Israel and us?
"Your petitions have been heard" (v. 13). WHAT petition?
"Every branch in me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit" (John 15:2).
Zacharias is unprepared! Are we, also?
--THE CONVICTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
"For our word did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction" (1 Thessalonians 1:5).
plero phoreo--fully carried.
--THE CALL TO REPENT
"John appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins" (Mark 1:4).
meta noia--think again
"Ain't you tired, Miss Hilly?"
Tax collector, couldn't even lift us his eyes, "Lord have mercy on me, a sinner." Luke 18. Which one was justified? Not the proud man.
Malachi 4:6. Fathers turn back to children.
Disobedient turn back to obedience
--THE COMMITMENT TO PATIENCE
This will take time. Always.
"Let us not grow weary in doing good, in proper time we will reap if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:17).
"The Undercover Boss"
This is the God who WILL come to you. Will you be ready when He does?